Who Do We Think We Are?


Who Do We Think We Are?

Capital Punishment is the penalty of death for a crime. The most common criminals

who are executed are convicted murderers. What message is that sending? The use of

capital punishment sends the message that murder is okay, as long as it is applied to the

right person. The application of capital punishment in our society is hypocritical. It has no

place in the judicial system.

The way we handle the punishment of capital crimes is pathetic! There are other

ways to punish criminals outside of taking their lives, but we, for some reason, feel the

need to play the exterminator. The people who commit capital crimes are not animals to

be exterminated. They are human. They deserve the same breath that everyone else takes.

If a person commits a heinous crime then that person is obviously not normal. That person

is obviously in need of mental help and, we should help these criminals instead of hurting

them (religioustolerance.org).

Criminals have families and friends who care about them. Why should the innocent

bystanders be punished because of another's actions? Killing anyone, for any reason, only

brings on more pain and suffering than is necessary. We should recognize the problems in


our society and heal those problems instead of placing a temporary fix on a permanent


Capital punishment is excessive and unnecessary. Killing a criminal only solves one

problem and causes many more. The one problem it solves is the criminal is no longer

walking the streets. Encarceration would serve the same purpose. If the criminal is

encarcerated then he/she no longer poses a direct threat to society, so killing him/her

would be overkill (pardon the pun). It causes other problems because the criminal was

executed merely out of retribution. Sort of an eye for an eye. Actions like this only keep

hatred and condemnation flowing in society (progress.org).

A punishment can only be called a deterrent if it is performed consistantly and

promptly. There are three reasons why capital punishment cannot be performed with any

consistancy or promptness.

1) The number of convicted murderers sentenced to death are small, and of that number,

an even smaller number are actually executed

2)Manditory death sentences are unconstitutional (Woodson v. North Carolina, 1976).

3)A considerable time between the imposition of the death sentence and the actual

execution is unavoidable.

If a person is going to premeditate a capital crime, he/she is not going to be

concerned with the punishment he/she will recieve. Instead, they are actually concentrating

on how they will commit the crime. Even after that they are not thinking of the


consequences, they now are thinking of how they will evade detection and capture by the

police. The severest of punishments will not deter these criminals.

If a capital crime is commited in the heat of the moment, when most capital crimes

actually are, the criminal is not thinking correctly, he/she can not actually contemplate

what will happen as a result of commiting the crime. Every human being on this planet has

a breaking point, and everyone is capable of murder. When someone reaches that point

there is no punishment capable of deterring them.

Some capital crimes are commited as a result of being under the influence of drugs

or alcohol. The criminals who commit these capital crimes are obviously not in a right

frame of mind and should not be executed. This is not to say they shouldn't be held

accountable for their actions, this is merely saying they do not deserve to lose their own

life. They may not even be conscious of the action they are committing, so how could they

possibly consider the consequences?

There are also other, underlying, situations when capital crimes are commited.

Here are a few:

Mentally ill individuals who have little or no regard for the consequence of their


Brain-damaged individuals who experience periods of uncontrollable rage and

sometimes kill

Political terrorists who are acting for either a religion or a leader of a group that


honors it's martyrs.

Professional hit-men who are ONLY focused on evading capture

Other than professional hit-men, few of the people mentioned are actually in a

rational state of mind when they commit their crimes. Death as a deterrent is an unrealistic

idea for these individuals because either they cannot conceive